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First, know that your lawyer cannot guarantee you will win your case. Do not ask them if they can. Saying so can actually constitute malpractice. They can express confidence in the quality of your case but nothing further. If your lawyer tells you he guarantees a victory, do not hire that lawyer.

Second, you need to hammer out some logistics. How does your lawyer bill for services? Find out if its hourly, on contingency, retainer, or as a flat fee. These different schemes will all cost a different amount; choose what's right for you and your case. Don't be afraid to ask about unbundling.

Once you understand and agree on how you will be billed and what rate your lawyer will charge, you and your attorney should sign a letter of engagement. An Attorney Engagement Letter should contain the name of the law firm and client, what services are being provided, the compensation arrangement and the state in which the agreement is taking place.

Once both parties have signed the engagement letter, you've officially hired yourself a lawyer. The attorney-client relationship is now in effect. Find out more about the attorney-client relationship and how to work with an attorneyto stay educated on the process. 

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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